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Do you know how many of your corporate clients currently relocate employees without formalized or updated mobility guidelines in place?

There may be a surprising number of companies that could benefit from your input and support in developing basic relocation policies. Think of corporate clients that may be experiencing growth or restructuring, expanding here or abroad, merging or acquiring new divisions.

Whether first-time policy needs or non-integrated divisions now needing a unified policy, clients may want to establish or re-evaluate mobility practices for various reasons. Even corporate clients with few annual moves can benefit from a written policy and smaller companies may especially welcome your observations and suggestions.

Having a company-wide sanctioned mobility policy offers multiple benefits including:
• helping set appropriate expectations with transferees and hiring managers
• improving benefits consistency and tax efficiencies
• supporting budget activities and cost management

The best policies reflect transferring employee needs and demographics, relocation trends and best practices as well as the individual firms’ corporate mobility objectives.

Although many companies outsource employee services to relocation management companies, some smaller providers may not offer business-to-business support for policy evaluation development and benchmarking services. There are also many corporate clients without outsourced relocation management partners or who have limited internal resources to conduct administrative activities in-house.

As in-field specialists many relocation departments within real estate brokerages are attuned to the challenges faced by corporate home buyers and sellers and can help employers identify solutions or service gaps within current programs. You may already know of value-added strategic services in your local marketplace that enhance employer assistance programs. A prevalence of these or other situations may signal marketplace trends not being addressed in some corporate policies. For example, have you noticed:

– Corporate home sellers unsupported by professional home marketing program assistance?
– Corporate home sellers who could benefit by modest employer-provided allowances for pre-marketing home preparation activities or marketing incentives?
– Clients unaware of pre-decision tools that may prevent relocation failures by recognizing high-risk financial or family impacts before assignment acceptance?
– Increased frequency of relocation department assistance to renters… or inbound expats: could special local service packages be helpful?

Unfortunately, there is no ‘one size-fits-all’ corporate mobility policy, but many provide assistance in at least the basic areas.

Core policy components for a full assistance move might typically include professional services and financial assistance for the:

Departure area
• home or lease disposition
• physical movement of household goods
• final move trip for the employee and dependents

Destination area
• home finding for purchasers and renters
• temporary housing
• new home purchase or lease
• lump sum allowance for miscellaneous expenses

Many relocation policies include fundamentals but there are many other assistance services and feature variations based on corporate philosophy, mobility objectives, transferee job levels and population demographics.

To develop optimal policy plans aligned with its population and corporate needs, corporate clients may need to collect mobility historical data. This may include reviewing service use history or obtaining feedback from internal hiring managers and recently moved transferees. Although challenges may differ from one corporate client to the next many share similar goals regarding mobility programs.

Corporations typically want to enhance employee assistance, contain costs and align policy with mobility objectives and can accomplish this with a well-designed policy.

As field relocation department staff you may be best positioned to identify corporate clients’ service gaps and potential program / policy opportunities while also developing your own value as a business-to-business resource within the corporate community.